James Stewart is back on the bike, back on the pace and ready for the opening round of the AMA Motocross Championship at Glen Helen, according to Kawasaki team manager Mike Fisher.
"He was here last week for testing," Fisher said yesterday. "He started riding about two weeks before he came out, so he's on his fourth week. He looked really fast; it doesn't look like he was ever off the bike. We had a good test. We started off with last year's specs and went from there. He looks really good. I don't see any problems with his knee right now, so he should do well. He really wants to win this championship."
Aside from looking like he lost a little weight, Stewart is reportedly looking fast as ever and is in good spirits heading into the Nationals.
"I think he's lost some weight," Fisher commented. "He looks strong, he looks healthy - he's definitely fast. We haven't gone to Florida to do testing there, but when he was here with us, he was incredibly fast. He knew what he wanted to do and testing went really well."
Tim Ferry, who will be under the factory Kawasaki tent alongside Stewart once again, is also doing much better, having finally gotten over some hurdles that were in his way late in the Supercross season.
"Ferry had been kinda sick the last couple Supercross races," Fisher said. "And it wasn't to do with his crash that he had. It was more like an allergy problem and he just couldn't kick it. His esophagus was swollen up. Now he's got that under control. He moved out of his house where there's a lot of trees and things he's allergic to so he moved in with his in-laws and he's practicing at his house but he's not living there. It's cleared up and he's better and we're really happy. And now he's coming here to test with us and then he'll be ready."
And what about Preston? Fisher admits they weren't looking forward to sending Travis Preston - who filled in for the injured James Stewart during the Supercross season - packing. But Kawasaki managed to send him off with a few bikes with which Preston will hopefully be able to build a program around for the Nationals.
"I hope he can get something going," Fisher said. "He seems like a great guy. I'd like to keep in touch with him, if we need him for testing or anything. We've only known him this year, but everybody likes him. He's a real pleasurable guy and we wish him well."
The AMA Motocross Championship kicks off this weekend, May 25 at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernadino, California.